PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Discussion about old PC hardware.

PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-23 @ 11:12

From my experience especially in case of multi boot machines (special HW for one of OSes) not ever have enough PCI-e/PCI/ISA slots.. or cant use some otherwise suited MB, because of slots location / count design.

This post is work in progress and its often updated, time of last edit is in footer, major updates are described in following posts, TBD - means to be defined its just placeholder for work in progress...

PCI-e to PCI, PCI to ISA back plates / bridge or how to name them, should be solution.. So i want to discuss here:

1) Its back plates and bridges are proven for which client PCI-e/PCI-ISA cards?
2) My wet dream is able to use ISA sound card on board with PCI only slots or PCI sound card on PCI-E only machine in DOS.. so far i tried only PCI-E to PCI and its working Win98+ well, but not with DOS. Maybe someone was successful with PCI to ISA?
3) Slots counts enhancers - PCI to PCI, ISA to ISA, PCI-E to PCI-E etc.
4) What solve space problems, some case mods, external cases, cable enhancers etc..
5) Proven products links and experience
6) Compatibility online sheet matrix.
7) If there are some developers, some testing utilities or some enhancers to improve compatibility.
8) How is possible that in PCI-E era, we not more heard about IRQ problem, its better PCI-E architecture, or better OS architecture, or both?
9) I saw somewhere here some photos of special telecommunication MBs and back plates with zillions of slots with special case format (there was special board with CPU) and was quite new i thing skylake, but i forgot machine keyword to find it.. maybe someone know magic keyword => search for PICMG 1.0 backplane, or SBC

I personally only 2 cheap pci-e to pci devices with Asmedia chip.. and for one even older version, when new version has enhanced compatibility.
Here are my client cards testing results and link to eBay - look at tabs - PCIetoPCIadaptersCompatibility and PCIE-toPCI-Chipsets
Today i was quite suprised that 1 of them working even for PCI videocard as primary for Dos (details), DOS network card is working too.

Solutions:

ISA to ISA
Malvineous: Look at this threadwhere an industrial backplane was connected to a normal motherboard with a passthrough cable, so that all those slots were available for use with the normal motherboard? This lets you add many more ISA slots to a machine that already has ISA slots. Interestingly the early IBM PCs sold with an extension box that looked like another PC (used the same size case), only it had no disks in it and it was just a bunch of ISA slots. You could use this if you wanted to plug more than eight ISA cards into the machine, but it was a bit of an expensive solution so very rare to see now.

Most modern MBs with ISA:
DFI G7S620-N - Intel 865G / Intel ICH,5, P4 only (there is some unofficial Core 2 bios - im not sure about its state)- https://www.dreamhardware.com/mb-g7s620 ... 19149.html manual -If im not wrong Parus and Tiido have this MB and confirmed that ISA sound is working.
Portwell RUBY-9719VG2AR - intel G41 / ICH7R (up to Core 2 Quad) - https://www.portwell.com.tw/download/sb ... 9vg2ar.pdf There is Fintek F85226FG bridge - which supports ISA DMA, but you have to enable it throug some Tiido utility (link) and SB16 is working.
MSI MS-98A9 - intel Q77 - http://ipc.msi.com/product/pages/ipc/MS-98A9.html - PCI to ISA bridge iTE IT8888G ISA DMA is not supported - so no sound card
DFI HD620-H81- intel H81- https://www.dfi.com/Product/Index/305 - PCI to ISA bridge iTE IT8888G - ISA DMA is not supported - so no sound card

USB to ISA
Rayer: USB low-level programming is pure HELL. Don't expect that anybody will program a DOS driver for it. It's not just writing a friver for the peripheral but you also must have driver for USB controllers that exists in many form (XHCI/EHCI/UHCI/OHCI) and USB hubs... no no.. And it would be still only a half of work the second half will be writting a TSR/monitor that captures legacy access from games and convert it to calls for your USB driver).

PCI to ISA

More info not solution:
Malvineous: Putting ISA on PCI is not really possible without a custom device with drivers. The PCI bus is not just a faster version of ISA, it is completely different and has significant changes to address shortcomings in the ISA bus. For example the ISA bus has dedicated lines for each supported IRQ number, but the PCI bus only has four interrupts called A, B, C and D. The motherboard routes these to actual IRQ numbers, usually with each slot using a different IRQ. This is why IRQ conflicts with PCI cards can often be solved by moving them to a different slot. The card might still use interrupt B, but that will be routed to a different IRQ in a different slot. If your ISA card uses IRQ 5, you might not even have that available on your PCI slot.
The PCI bus also does not support DMA in the same way that ISA does, and this is why early PCI sound cards used the SB-Link cable. It was a way of routing a tiny part of the ISA bus onto the PCI card, so that the card could still respond to ISA DMA requests required for Sound Blaster compatibility. After the Pentium 4, the DMA facility was completely removed from hardware so Sound Blaster compatibility is not electrically possible after this point and must be emulated via software.


PCIe to PCI

Info not solution:
Malvineous: PCI-E has changed yet again, and everything - port addresses, interrupts, and memory accesses - is sent in packets a bit like Ethernet. After the packets are decoded they are similar enough to PCI that there are bridge chips around that will let you plug PCI cards into PCI-E slots.

Possible solution untested:
- PCI-E 1x to 4x PCI-E Long slot - 15$. it make sense for some low bandwidth devices - as let say sound cards or some network cards

Solutions:

Asmedia - AMS1083 - compatibility details are in my sheet - CIetoPCIadaptersCompatibility (same document as above)
Basic specs.

P17C9X - i guest that is Pericom chip (maybe PI7C9X110? maybe PI7C9X111SL, maybe other.. )
- NICs, Videocards are working even in Dos, otherwise lots of cards are working even soundcards in Win98+ plus on PCIe only MB, not so far sound in DOS (it would be big breakthrough).
There could be more variants and revisions of this chipsets / risers - i have probably older revision, new one has this description:
Support MAC Apple system .USB cable has been improved. PCI-E version also improved! Support innovative sound 0610,0350,0460,0090, RME DIGI96 / 8 PAD, RME9632 other high-end sound card, telephone recording card and other PCI devices. Product Compatibility better after the update.


Could someone tell us, if this sound support things can help with DOS sound card compatibility or they are just some modern stuff?

Startech with Pericom- PI7C9X111SL probably newer chip:
https://www.startech.com/eu/Cards-Adapt ... d~PEX1PCI1

I found some Pericom datasheets here:
PI7C9X110 - http://pdf1.alldatasheet.com/datasheet- ... 9X110.html // 2007
PI7C9X111SL - http://pdf1.alldatasheet.com/datasheet- ... LBFDE.html // 2010
PI7C9X118SL - https://www.diodes.com/assets/Datasheet ... X118SL.pdf // 2017

There are some Express card to 2x PCI adapters for laptops:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F3FM0G8/re ... B00KZHDSLQ // Looks like that PCB is some with Pericom PCI-E adapters

There are at least 2 MBs were are these integrated (thx to Rayer):
GA-Z170-HD3 - intel Z170 - https://www.gigabyte.com/us/Motherboard ... -rev-10#sp // ASM1083 bridge
FUJITSU Mainboard D3446-S - intel C236 - Socket-1151 (Skylake / Kabylake) https://sp.ts.fujitsu.com/dmsp/Publicat ... 446-S.pdf/ Pericom PI7C9X118SL bridge (2017)
GA-Z97P-D3 - https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA ... -rev-10#ov]GA-Z97P-D3 there are similar GA MB even with 3x PCI (GA-Z97-D3 abd GA-H97-D3)- Bridge is ITE - IT8892E . I have this one, tried lots of sound cards with it and best what i was able to squeeze from it is working FM + Adlib with ALS 4000 - but i have cheapest ALS 4000 variant - on board are very few components in comparision with proper ALS 4000 boards (i dont know for sure its this Sound Card would work even with older MBs).
Bridge itself is exactly the same as on Rayes GA-P67A-D3-B3, where Yamahas 724/744 and Aureal V1 are working fine, there is something else wrong..
GA-X79-UP4 - https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA ... -rev-10#ov has 1x PCI too, but it Motherboard Block Diagram is not bridge at all, and on board is not too.

PCI to PCIE

Info not solution:
Malvineous: .. expensive ones (adapters) that will plug PCI-E cards into PCI slots. I would like to try this to get USB 3.0 support on a PCI-only motherboard, since there are not very many (if any) PCI cards that have true USB 3.0 support, however the adapters are currently more expensive than it is worth for this.

PCIe to PCIe
Possible soluton PCI-E x16 to 8x PCI-E 1x) untested - Model: SQKZ-P8
- i need to find better listing, but this could be PCI-E x16 to 8x PCIe x1 adapter mother card
If someone will find better photo, or decipher main chip name and specs just tell me.

Possible solution form Dell J222N DELL RISER BOARD LF PCI-E R815/R810 P: //untested
https://www.ebay.com/itm/J222N-DELL-RIS ... :rk:2:pf:0

LPT for Sound Blaster emulation: - simply not possible too slow..
- as you can know its used for Serdashop OPL2/3LPT, but its only FM + Adlib and it not support too much games and even needs patching of games executable..

Malvineous: The LPT port is too slow for this. There are sound devices (Covox etc.) that can produce digital sound via LPT but the quality is very poor and they have very high CPU usage because there is no DMA. The reason why the popular sound cards were ISA at the time was because DMA allowed sound effects to be played with enough CPU power left over to run the game itself.

Adding PCI Sound cards support on modern MB with PCI slots:

Just info - Theory:
Tiido: For MB without PS/2, LPT and/or COM ports there's usually no SuperIO chip either and thus no LPC bus use is necessary. Mod involves locating the LPC DMA request line, severing it, soldering a wire to the trace and then to the bridge that one day I'll make. It might be possible to share the DMA line so that SuperIO chip can still do DMA but I'm not sure if timings permit it.

Possibility to capture PCI sound requests on very modern MBs, this is not possible on MBs on with LPC (they go straight to LPC along with bunch of other accesses. )
Lack of 8259 (PIC) and 8237 (DMA controller) on their usual addresses would be the first good sign. I don't think PIC will ever disappear, DMA controller does serve no purpose on modern hardware though and that is the most important thing for sound in DOS games.

SBC - format special boards
- there are some special PICMG / SBC boards (i dunno for what there are intended some switchboard stations?), or how to name it.. which have zillions of slots and support modern CPU boards (1150+1155) like this (thanks for info to Cyclone3D):
https://www.icpamerica.com/wsb-h610-picmg-1-0-sbc/
https://advdownload.blob.core.windows.n ... 102743.pdf

j^aws
With PICMG 1.0 board, and with it, you are limited by the fastest PCI GPU card. With a PIAGP board, you are limited by the fastest AGP GPU card. With a PICMG 1.3 board, you are limited by the fastest PCI-express GPU card. In these cases, you are also limited by the functionality of the PCI-ISA bridge chip and their variants to provide ISA DMA.


There even PCI-E/PCI/ISA combo PICMG 1.3 boards
like Axiomtek FAB100


But we need someone with real experience with them, to tell:
A) If ISA DMA sound cards is really working in pure DOS?
B) If PCI sound cards are working?
C) If Dos, Win98, Linux, WinXP, Win7.. WIn10, MacOS (hackingtosh) etc is working on them fine too?
D) Cases for them.
E) Power supplies and cables for them? => At least some seems to use standard ATX PSUs.
F) Prices of all this stuff.
G) Are standard CPU coolers compatible with these CPU cards?
Last edited by ruthan on 2018-12-06 @ 22:44, edited 55 times in total.
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, back plates, research, especially for DOS.

Postby Baoran » 2018-11-23 @ 11:53

Putting isa riser card to an isa slot to multiply isa slots is simple enough because they are parallel if you have a case where it works. Putting and isa card to a pci slot would probably be the hardest.
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, back plates, research, especially for DOS.

Postby Malvineous » 2018-11-23 @ 12:32

Have you had a look at this thread where an industrial backplane was connected to a normal motherboard with a passthrough cable, so that all those slots were available for use with the normal motherboard? This lets you add many more ISA slots to a machine that already has ISA slots. Interestingly the early IBM PCs sold with an extension box that looked like another PC (used the same size case), only it had no disks in it and it was just a bunch of ISA slots. You could use this if you wanted to plug more than eight ISA cards into the machine, but it was a bit of an expensive solution so very rare to see now.

PCI-to-PCI bridges do exist, but they are typically embedded within other devices. For example if you buy an Ethernet card with four ports on it, it is rarely a special chip and is almost always four conventional NIC chips connected to a PCI-to-PCI bridge. When you install one of these and look at your hardware topology using the appropriate software, it shows you that one of your PCI slots is occupied by a bridge. You then see another whole PCI bus on your system which has (in this case) four slots with four network cards in them. I am not aware of any PCI-to-PCI bridges that had actual usable slots in them, except for those found on server and industrial motherboards to allow more PCI slots to be used. They are not so common because one drawback is that all the extra PCI slots have to share the same bandwidth, so the more slots you add, the slower devices run if they are all running at the same time (not great for a high performance server!)

Putting ISA on PCI is not really possible without a custom device with drivers. The PCI bus is not just a faster version of ISA, it is completely different and has significant changes to address shortcomings in the ISA bus. For example the ISA bus has dedicated lines for each supported IRQ number, but the PCI bus only has four interrupts called A, B, C and D. The motherboard routes these to actual IRQ numbers, usually with each slot using a different IRQ. This is why IRQ conflicts with PCI cards can often be solved by moving them to a different slot. The card might still use interrupt B, but that will be routed to a different IRQ in a different slot. If your ISA card uses IRQ 5, you might not even have that available on your PCI slot.

The PCI bus also does not support DMA in the same way that ISA does, and this is why early PCI sound cards used the SB-Link cable. It was a way of routing a tiny part of the ISA bus onto the PCI card, so that the card could still respond to ISA DMA requests required for Sound Blaster compatibility. After the Pentium 4, the DMA facility was completely removed from hardware so Sound Blaster compatibility is not electrically possible after this point and must be emulated via software.

I have a rare industrial board that uses a bridge chip to provide ISA slots on the Core2 architecture, however I have not been able to get a sound card to work in it for this reason. The OPL music synth works because it is simple port I/O, but the digitised audio does not function because there is no way of having the CPU initiate a DMA request that can be picked up by an external device. (You can still catch it with a protected mode TSR and then emulate it somehow and have a custom bridge chip forward it to the device, but it would not be true ISA DMA because your driver would have to fully emulate it.)

PCI-E has changed yet again, and everything - port addresses, interrupts, and memory accesses - is sent in packets a bit like Ethernet. After the packets are decoded they are similar enough to PCI that there are bridge chips around that will let you plug PCI cards into PCI-E slots, and more expensive ones that will plug PCI-E cards into PCI slots. I would like to try this to get USB 3.0 support on a PCI-only motherboard, since there are not very many (if any) PCI cards that have true USB 3.0 support, however the adapters are currently more expensive than it is worth for this.
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-23 @ 14:10

Malvineous: Thanks for lots of info, i started to build some knowledge base in first post.

Some notes:

PCI to ISA User Tiido is making some nice ISA new soundcards in this thread, there was discussion what would take to "port" them to PCI, it seems to be solvable..

PCI-to-PCI
Yeah speed could be problem, but i find out when tested some SSD transfers speeds (wer bigger than 133 MB/s) at least in Windows that some more modern PCI MBs already have multiple PCI buses and are able to use them in parallel to achieve better transfers speeds.

Dos is as usual biggest problem, but:
- Sounds cards - its biggest DOS HW compability problem, i suppose that there not really PCI bandwidth heavy devices.
- Network cards - but there is not multitasking (in MS-DOS) so when you using them for file transferring, you dont care about other things..
- Capture / TV tuner cards - you dont really need to use from in DOS
- DOS is not needs too much disk operations and transfers too, even slower storage operation not crippling it too much in comparison with modern OSes, at least from gaming perspective
- so what left are really PCI Videocards.. and here usually when you want speed, you have often option of use dedicated AGP or even PCI-E cards, for most older games should be still PCI shared bus good enough.

PCI-E to PCI - have of tested some of these?
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Postby Baoran » 2018-11-23 @ 14:17

It would be nice if we had an adapter that would allow isa cards in pci slots. Adapter that would emulate something like this https://patents.google.com/patent/US6138183.
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Postby Malvineous » 2018-11-23 @ 23:14

Had a look through that patent and although it's a bit random and disorganised, here is the core part:
The AT compatible interrupt requests (IRQs) are provided directly to an 8259 compatible interrupt controller via a sideband connection from the PCI device. These sideband signals are not supported in the PCI slot definition.

So in other words, it's describing the SB-Link method of using a second connector to bring the ISA DMA signals from an existing ISA bus on the motherboard across to the PCI device. So if the motherboard does not have an SB-Link connector, or an ISA slot, then this method would not work to run an ISA card in a PCI slot (or rather everything would work except things that require DMA, like digitised audio).

@ruthan When I mentioned multiple PCI buses sharing the bandwidth, I wasn't meaning that it would be a problem for DOS, I meant that it was a problem originally for servers which is why you do not see it done very often on old hardware. Most servers had multiple direct PCI buses instead of splitting one into multiple slots.

Running an ISA card in a PCI slot is certainly doable, you just have to choose how you want to solve the DMA problem. SB-Link solved it by bringing signals across from an existing ISA bus, but this requires that the motherboard have an ISA bus which many do not any longer. Another option is to use a TSR to capture DMA requests and emulate it in software, which would work and has been done before (e.g. Sound Blaster Live DOS compatibility drivers) but it will have to run in protected mode in order to grab these signals which means a small number of games (like Zone 66) will not run.
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Postby Baoran » 2018-11-24 @ 05:24

I thought it was about tdma that ess solo-1 cards use because it is called transparent dma in the patent.
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-24 @ 11:28

Malvineous wrote: When I mentioned multiple PCI buses sharing the bandwidth, I wasn't meaning that it would be a problem for DOS, I meant that it was a problem originally for servers which is why you do not see it done very often on old hardware. Most servers had multiple direct PCI buses instead of splitting one into multiple slots..

Ok, this message was mainly for other readers, i personally wasnt aware possiblity of multiple PCI buses for long time.

Malvineous wrote:Running an ISA card in a PCI slot is certainly doable, you just have to choose how you want to solve the DMA problem. SB-Link solved it by bringing signals across from an existing ISA bus, but this requires that the motherboard have an ISA bus which many do not any longer.

Do you have some tips for lastest MBs with SB-Link, so far we found this one S775 but, its very expensive.. G7S620-N,
BTW Its SB-Link compatibility exactly same as with native ISA cards, or its worse?

Malvineous wrote:Another option is to use a TSR to capture DMA requests and emulate it in software, which would work and has been done before (e.g. Sound Blaster Live DOS compatibility drivers) but it will have to run in protected mode in order to grab these signals which means a small number of games (like Zone 66) will not run.

It could be intersting for you, not long time ago, we found that ALS 4000 has some unofficial drivers, where source code is available, would be interesting if someone skilled in C could review them and perhaps continue with developments.. Its just 1200 lines of codes. So far its this card and driver only sound card which is able to produce FM and Adlib sounds on Z97 chipset with PCI slots.. I tested all other usual suspects (PCI sound cards with this MB and nothing).
Here is source, few post lower is ALS 4000 datasheet, if im not wrong its realtek chipset.

Otherwise i searched for PCIe to PCI chipsets not riser cards and some far i found that these ones are used:

I added tabs with risers and chipset info here, tab - PCIE-toPCI-CardChipsetsSpecs.
Asmedia - AMS1083
P17C9X - i guest that is Pericom chip too
- i tested these two in tab - PCIetoPCIadaptersCompatibility (same document as above) - NIC, Videocard are working even in Dos, otherwise lots of cards are working even soundcards in Win98+ plus on PCIe only MB, not so far sound in DOS (it would be big breakthrough).
There could be more variants and revisions of this chipsets / risers - i have probably older revision, new one has this description:
Support MAC Apple system .USB cable has been improved. PCI-E version also improved! Support innovative sound 0610,0350,0460,0090, RME DIGI96 / 8 PAD, RME9632 other high-end sound card, telephone recording card and other PCI devices. Product Compatibility better after the update.
Could someone tell us, if this sound support things can help with DOS sound card compatibility or they are just some modern stuff?
Pericom PI7C9X2G
Pericom - PI7C9X111SL
So far i found only eBay description info, maybe someone can search for datasheets and review them, i dont have enough knowledge for it.
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Postby Malvineous » 2018-11-24 @ 11:46

Don't know much about SB-Link support on motherboards, but compatibility should be good as it is directly connected to the original ISA bus. This is why only motherboards with ISA bus support have an SB-Link connector. However it only carries the DMA signals used by sound cards (I guess DMA1 and DMA5, but not sure if it does include both or just one) so any special ISA cards that use different DMA channels probably won't work with SB-Link.

In this post of mine on another forum I found a document from Intel called ISA Bridge Support and Limitations and I said this:

[The Intel document] says PCI to ISA bridges require either PC/PCI DMA or DDMA support on the PCI side in order to be able to translate ISA DMA, and apparently Intel never supported DDMA and removed PC/PCI DMA from ICH6 onwards. The board I have has an ICH8 chipset which explains why ISA DMA doesn't work, even with the bridge chip.

This means that after ICH6, no Intel chipset will provide native ISA bus support and you will need a software solution, or a chipset from another manufacturer who does include ISA support.

I had a quick look at the ALS4000 source code and it looks like it requires DDMA support on the chipset, and has code to enable it on a bunch of different chipsets (SIS 630, AMD 756, etc.) Curiously it also has support for Intel PIIX4, which means Intel did support DDMA at some point even though that document above suggests they didn't. So not sure what's going on there, maybe I misread it. Either way, this code would only be useful to get ISA cards running on systems with chipsets that support DDMA over the PCI bus, which I suspect is going to be very few modern ones, if any at all.
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-24 @ 12:22

Malvineous wrote:I had a quick look at the ALS4000 source code and it looks like it requires DDMA support on the chipset, and has code to enable it on a bunch of different chipsets (SIS 630, AMD 756, etc.)

Some clarification needed: DDMA is just one way how to make FX working in DOS, im i right? It there some HW limit, which blocking to implement other ways beside it? I mean that this source could be good entry point for other development not something which would need only some hot fix.

There is our PCI soundcards vs. chipset testing sheet it could help:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... edit#gid=0
ALS4000 is not best one, but only one with available source code. I now that Zanquate is working on Aureal V2 DOS drivers for years, but its not probably open sourced.

When i look at this table, most compatible are definitely TSR solutions - Aureals and Yamahas.
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Postby Malvineous » 2018-11-25 @ 10:03

It's hard to say without looking more closely at the source code. It mentions enabling "Sound Blaster compatibility registers" which suggests the card supports SB emulation in hardware. If this is true, then the code won't help with getting any other type of sound card working. It would help with enabling DDMA mode on those old motherboard chipsets, however the best you will get is an ISA sound card that works on old motherboards with PCI and ISA slots, so in that case you might as well plug the ISA card into the ISA slot. It doesn't look like it will help get ISA devices working on modern boards.

DDMA is one way of moving ISA DMA data over the PCI bus, and PC/PCI DMA is another. In order to work, it seems that it is a function that must be provided by the chipset that powers the PCI slots.

Realistically, the only way I can see that it is possible to get an ISA card working in a modern machine is if you produce your own device with an ISA slot on it, with your own custom translation protocol on it as well. You would then write a driver that speaks this translation protocol and makes the operating system think the card is directly attached. Under DOS this means a TSR, under Windows, a normal ISA bridge driver would work. If you were going to do this, you would not be limited to PCI, you could design it to communicate over USB instead. You could create a box with an ISA slot in it, where you can mount any ISA card and plug it in to a computer via a USB port. Once your driver is installed, the computer would use the ISA card just like it was installed normally.

This is not a simple solution however, as it requires designing your own circuit board, programming the controller on it, and writing DOS/Windows/both drivers for the host PC. But I think it is the only solution that will be compatible with a modern computer.
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-25 @ 10:28

For PCIE MBs is would be simpler if we would go with PCI soundcard (i know DOS SB compatibility is < than with ISA), because with PCIe to PCI bridges, PCI sound cards working fine with Win98+, so we would need only solve pure DOS.. in theory if someone would do it, he can contact manufacturers of existing adapters and just help them with chip capability and software enhancement - Win, Win for both sides.

Or you can simply have 3 Sound cards USB:
1) USB / PCie / LPT / Serial etc - select right one.. to ISA Box for pure DOS
2) PCI-E to PCI adapter for WIn98
3)Realtek HD / PCI-E sound card for XP+, Linux and MacOS.

So crucial is really DOS support, for anything else there are work arounds.
Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough HW.
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Postby Malvineous » 2018-11-25 @ 12:54

It depends how pure you want to get. If you install a PCI SoundBlaster Live with an adapter into a PCIe slot, then it include DOS drivers that emulate the ISA SB16, so you could play a DOS game with SoundBlaster support on a card connected via PCIe. But the problem is that you're emulating the card with software drivers, so it's not really any different to running DOSBox, and using its emulator to make games think they are talking to a real ISA SoundBlaster card.

If you are only talking about Windows support then any PCI card should work in a PCIe adapter (and vice versa) as long as there are drivers available for the version of Windows you want to run. It's only ISA and its DMA transfers that are not easy to move to a different bus type.
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-25 @ 13:26

Malvineous wrote:It depends how pure you want to get. If you install a PCI SoundBlaster Live with an adapter into a PCIe slot, then it include DOS drivers that emulate the ISA SB16, so you could play a DOS game with SoundBlaster support on a card connected via PCIe. But the problem is that you're emulating the card with software drivers, so it's not really any different to running DOSBox, and using its emulator to make games think they are talking to a real ISA SoundBlaster card.

I tried lots of PCI sound cards with PCIe to PCI adapters with DOS without success there are working only in Windows 98 even on board were PCI cards are working natively, so adapter and cards are ok. Do you have any success story?
Course that it would be nicer to have working ISA sound card with much modern as possible PCI-E board, but my greed would be for long time satisfied with PCI sound cards and its good to have reasonable target/scope.

I really dont need true classic noisier sound in DOS, i prefer clean as possible if i can choose, but most important is game compatibility and SB Live! is not great for it and i can still live fine even with Aureal Vortex 1 which has not so great FM.
Dosbox- there are still things which Dosbox cant do and there is performance aspect too- in my Fast videocards and cpu DOS benchmarking sheet you can see that Dosbox performance on same HW still sucks for thing like Quake 1024x768, so for Duke3D in 1600x1200 and similar niche things, but quite a lot people here are using fast machines in DOS. I really dont need that 286/386/486 machine experience with slow boot and no multibooting, networking etc.. but i still like that native Dos boot experience feel on new machine and dont really missing old HW speed / noise and some Windows notifications, unwanted updates, slowdowns by scheduled tasks, parallel processes etc..
Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough HW.
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-25 @ 15:25

Here are links to 2 pericom bridges datasheets:
http://pdf1.alldatasheet.com/datasheet- ... 9X110.html
http://pdf1.alldatasheet.com/datasheet- ... LBFDE.html
// Click on button, later you can download whole pdf.
Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough HW.
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-25 @ 20:04

I did some case research for good big pc case which can be used without hassle with adapters - it means ATX 7 slots MB + place for at least 2 slots bellow it.. I seems that present age big towers are such good as use to be.

"Modern" big case Corsair 800D - 7 cards slots + 1 slot without headers (for cooler etc..):
Corsair.png


Old Thermaltake Armor+ full 10 slots..
10Slots.png


If you know good modern 9/10 slots case without door with at least one 5,25 position and PSU position at the bottom, USB3 ports and power bottom in front and at the top, no too much perforation and super bright leds.. pleas let me know. I know that i can just move PSU further in case and make more room for cards and do some driling, but i would rather not.
Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough HW.
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Postby PC Hoarder Patrol » 2018-11-26 @ 00:24

Have you looked at the 9-slot Corsair Obsidian 750D? There were other 'older' cases with 10 slots like the Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra and the Xigmatek Elysium which you might still be able to pick up somewhere new or used.
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Postby LSS10999 » 2018-11-26 @ 02:53

Malvineous wrote:It depends how pure you want to get. If you install a PCI SoundBlaster Live with an adapter into a PCIe slot, then it include DOS drivers that emulate the ISA SB16, so you could play a DOS game with SoundBlaster support on a card connected via PCIe. But the problem is that you're emulating the card with software drivers, so it's not really any different to running DOSBox, and using its emulator to make games think they are talking to a real ISA SoundBlaster card.


DOSBox (at least official versions) probably cannot emulate CPU to the point that would 100% match the behavior of a real one (opcodes, clock timings, bugs and quirks, etc.), so not all games are equally compatible (according to the compatibility list). Provided the SB16 emulation of SBLive! works without issues, you can probably avoid some CPU/speed related issues on some "well-behaved" games that never had issues even when running on the fastest real PCs (that is, with proper speed handling and without abusing CPU bugs or quirks).

It's better to use a DOSBox frontend to maintain some different configurations if DOSBox is needed. The stock configuration works best on 80s games that didn't have proper CPU speed handlings (usually requiring a slowdown utility), while for modern games, if you have an adequate CPU, use "core=normal" and "cycle=max" as that'll make it run as fast as possible to match the experience of running it on real CPU.

Malvineous wrote:If you are only talking about Windows support then any PCI card should work in a PCIe adapter (and vice versa) as long as there are drivers available for the version of Windows you want to run. It's only ISA and its DMA transfers that are not easy to move to a different bus type.


PCI cards will work on a PCIe-PCI bridged port. However, as others (like Kamerat) pointed out, without Subtractive Decode, the legacy functionalities of those audio cards (usually provided by VxD driver) will not work even on Windows (such as MIDI on 330h, and in YMF7x4's case, native OPL3 FM on 388h, which is also provided by Windows XP built-in DS-1 driver), unless they could be mapped to an area above the card's base I/O address. For audio cards that don't have many powerful features (such as A3D or EAX), this makes them no different than using onboard audio.

And as such, the probability to get SB16 Emulation of SBLive! working on a recent PCIe chipset is close to zero.
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-26 @ 09:32

PC Hoarder Patrol wrote:Have you looked at the 9-slot Corsair Obsidian 750D? There were other 'older' cases with 10 slots like the Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra and the Xigmatek Elysium which you might still be able to pick up somewhere new or used.

Thanks for tips, i actually already have Corsair Obsidia 750D in on of my lairs, but i never counted slots..
Xigmatek - i dont like visuals, Rosewill - is much better, its usable, but i would prefer less perforations.
Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough HW.
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Re: PCie-to PCI, PCI to ISA, # of slots multipliers - bridges, risers, backplanes, research, especially for DOS, WIP.

Postby Plasma » 2018-11-26 @ 10:13

Malvineous wrote:Realistically, the only way I can see that it is possible to get an ISA card working in a modern machine is if you produce your own device with an ISA slot on it, with your own custom translation protocol on it as well. You would then write a driver that speaks this translation protocol and makes the operating system think the card is directly attached. Under DOS this means a TSR, under Windows, a normal ISA bridge driver would work. If you were going to do this, you would not be limited to PCI, you could design it to communicate over USB instead. You could create a box with an ISA slot in it, where you can mount any ISA card and plug it in to a computer via a USB port. Once your driver is installed, the computer would use the ISA card just like it was installed normally.

This is not a simple solution however, as it requires designing your own circuit board, programming the controller on it, and writing DOS/Windows/both drivers for the host PC. But I think it is the only solution that will be compatible with a modern computer.


http://arstech.com/install/ecom-catshow/usb2.0.html
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